The expectancy value theory of motivation is perhaps one of the simplest, but most useful, formulations of the psychology of motivation. Why do do we do things? According to expectancy approaches, because we think that they will probably generate an outcome we value. But is there more to it than that? What is it that makes some goals seem attainable? And is it better to ‘shoot the moon’ for a high value outcome which is likely to be unattainable, or are we better going for something smaller,but more likely..?
Lets explore expectancy value theory in more depth….
Continue reading “Expectancy value approaches to motivation”
An end to physical punishment of children.
Should anyone, ever, hit their children? The weight of evidence from the psychological literature has leaned increasingly in the direction of ‘no’, but recent research presents the strongest case yet. A recent review pulls the vast body of work in this area together and makes strong case against physical punishment – likening it’s effects to straight-up physical abuse. The scale of this issue is staggering: in 2012, amongst 11,000 US families surveyed, 30% of mothers of pre-schoolers admitted hitting their children in the last week, and 80% said they believed in it as a parenting tool . Large numbers of health care professionals also think physical punishment can be, in moderation, a useful (or at least harmless) parenting tool.
But how do these beliefs stand up in front of the evidence? And what other parenting options are there?
Continue reading “You should not hit your kids.”
The future of social prescribing workshop.
Some time ago, I wrote a post on social prescribing. Since then, I have ended up doing some research in this field. I am also helping to host a British Psychological Society sponsored workshop exploring ‘Challenges to Social Prescribing’. The London event will be taking place in November. If your are involved in the field, or just plain interested, I would love it if you could join us…. I am even giving a talk 🙂 Find out more below…
Continue reading “Free Social Prescribing event in London”
Intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation
Understanding how intrinsic and extrinsic forms of motivation differ helps us plan our activities and stay engaged with tasks at hand. Intrinsic motivation is based on inner values, whilst extrinsic is based on contingent rewards. But how can we harness our internal motivation and how (and when) do extrinsic rewards help (or hinder)? Read on to find more…
Continue reading “Intrinsic motivation and extrinsic rewards”
What is cognitive dissonance?
Cognitive dissonance is a powerful tool which can be used to motivate us in various ways. As a concept, it is best explained through an example. Think about the following statement- ‘it is important that people give blood so that blood banks can be adequately supplied’. This is probably something that you agree with. Now ask yourself- do I regularly give blood? If you are reading this and do, you should feel pretty good about yourself . However, if you’re reading this you do not then you’re probably feeling a slight sense of unease. This response is the essence of cognitive dissonance – a feeling that one aspect of ourselves does not fit with another. But how does it work, and how can we harness it?
Continue reading “Cognitive dissonance as a motivating tool.”
What make us (and the people we work with) really engage in a task? The promise of ‘Fortune and Glory’? Or maybe ‘Fear and Loathing’? These are all common tools people use to manage their own and others’ motivation and engagement. But, maybe this is all wrong… maybe there is a smarter way… In this post, we look at an alternative perspective,focusing on autonomy, mastery and purpose. Read on to find out more….
Continue reading “Autonomy, mastery and purpose: 3 drivers of motivation.”
Social Psychology: The Basics is on it’s way!
As regular readers will know, this last year I have been writing a lot – this blog (which I admit has been a little hit and miss) but also papers (some of which I have posted about!) and another short e-book (Understanding and Managing Stress). However, one of the projects I am most proud of is the completion of my first ever textbook – Social Psychology: The Basics. I’m really excited to say that it has now been sent to the publishers! This mid-length book outlining the history of social psychology and the methods it uses and covers the theory and evidence that makes up the field. Along the way it explores the conflicts and controversies (including the recent replication crisis) which have, and continue to, shape it’s future. It also explores the application of the science of social psychology in the real world. If your a student or just interested in the field, you should definitely check it out!
I’m really excited that is has entered pre-production, and I am looking forward to telling you more about it as things develop :-).
Social Psychology: The Basics will be out later in the year, published by Routledge. Sign up for updates to get the latest news!
Like this? Check out the BookStore for more things I have written 🙂
A little bit more about the Basic’s series
The Basics series is published by Routledge, and aims to provide accessible, authoritative introductions to many many fields of study. Other titles in the ‘Basics’ series include Internet Psychology, Semiotics, Research Methods and about a zillion other topics – check out the full range here. I’m looking forward to joining such a great series!
As you may know, a big part of my ‘day job’ is research – you may also know I have an interest in the psychology of addiction recovery. It’s an exciting time onthat front for me at the moment, as we are just about to launch a new study. Specifically, I’m running a study looking at the social processes which underpin the functions of Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s an online survey and it will take about 10 minutes. If you are in AA, you would be more than welcome to take part (in fact, I wold be really grateful!).
The study takes 10 minutes. You will be asked to read a short story and answer a questionnaire telling us what you think of it, and also asking you about your recovery journey to date, feelings about AA and your confidence about the future.
Want to take part? Just click here
Or, why not forward this post to a friend who may be interested?
Exam season cometh!
Across the country, exam time is coming up – here are some of PsychologyItBetters best posts to help you survive and thrive during this stressful period…. I hope you find them useful!
What predicts performance differences in two people with equal aptitude and prep?
Better stress reduction
Understanding stress responses
Feeling a bit overwhelmed?
Humour and stress reduction
Stress and exercise
And, when it is all over….
The psychology of holidays
Good luck in your exams and with your courseworks!
Why low alcohol messages may not be the answer…
Over the last few years a lot of the alcohol research I have been involved in has been looking at helping people make better decisions about their alcohol consumption. Drinking too much has massive implication for society – it contributes to a generally high prevalence of people being overweight (alcohol is highly calorific) and people consuming alcohol takes a toll on society – both in terms of long term health care costs (i.e. people being at increased risk of heart and liver disease) but also in terms of alcohol related violence. Public health campaigns encouraging us to drink responsibly have met with limited success, and it’s not a problem that will go away. One possible way we could be approach this is by making low alcohol wines and beers more widely available – giving people a choice of a less calorific, less intoxicating drink. But would this work? Me and some colleagues from LSBU’s Centre for Addictive Behaviours Research teamed up with Cambridge University’s Behaviour and Health Research Unit to start finding out out…
Continue reading “Low alcohol wine? You may just neck the whole bottle!”